Contact

Eva Collins

Deputy Superintendent:
Student Academic Performance and Instructional Leadership

Phone Number

(425) 456-4172

Email
Vegetables

The Elementary Lunch Study began informally this year when a parent expressed an interest in improving the lunch process and experience for elementary students and approached district staff with some ideas. A collaborative team grew out of the informal meetings, resulting in monthly meetings and the implementation of a pilot to test out some of the strategies.

Strategies

Increase the Lunch Period

We plan to increase the lunch period by five minutes during the 2017-18 school year.  State law requires elementary students to receive a minimum of 1,000 hours of instruction per school year, excluding lunch.  Increasing the lunch period will require us to increase the student day in order to meet the 1,000 hour state requirement. This change will take place in the 2017-18 school year.

Improve Lunch Line Efficiency

Our technology department has been working in collaboration with parents and staff to explore the use of technology to move the lunch line more efficiently. Our nutrition services department is exploring changes to packaging and distribution of food for increased efficiency. We are piloting a number of strategies at Puesta del Sol Elementary.

Pilot at Puesta del Sol

We are piloting a number of strategies at Puesta del Sol Elementary to improve lunch line efficiency. Our pilot incorporates a series of shifts to our lunch program, designed to increase efficiency of our flow. Our ultimate goal being to decrease the amount of time students spend standing in line for those who purchase school lunches, and increase their eating time. Options explored include:

  • Students lined up on time and dismissed on time (full 20 minutes).
  • Staff supervision (increase positive climate in the café while assisting with student flow)
  • Creating separate lines for ala carte and main entree for the day.
  • Scanners – use of enhanced technology to speed up the check in process for students purchasing lunch
  • Pre-packaging of fruits and vegetables (eliminating the time spent in making salad bar choices)

Our team will be analyzing the results of the pilot and developing recommendations and sharing our results with the Elementary Study Team for the 2017-18 school year.

Lunch Study Team

The Elementary Lunch Study Team began meeting January 2017, with a focus on creating the time and space for our students to eat their lunch, while providing an environment that is positive and enjoyable.

Team Member Role
Cindy Rogan Executive Director of Schools
Zhifang Yang-Denor Parent
Tom Duenwald Director of Educational Technology
Kathy Dumas Nutrition Services Manager
Qiang Sun Parent
Carolyn Stanley Parent/PTSA Council Member
Jonathan Shearer Principal

The Elementary Lunch Study Team will be sharing all of our information with the upcoming District Wellness committee.

  • Further explore and test technology solutions to improve lunch line efficiency
  • Develop guidelines for elementary lunch line procedures
  • Explore cafeteria design options for new school construction
  • Measure the impact of changes to determine if additional improvements are needed (pilot)

Team Meetings

These meetings are work sessions for the Elementary Lunch Study Team and are open for anyone to observe.

Date Time Location
January 20, 2017 11:30-12:30 ESC Room 250
February 10, 2017 12:30-1:30 ESC Room 250
March 22, 2017 12:30-1:30 ESC Room 250
April 28, 2017 11:00-12:00 TBD

Summary of Meetings

The district is taking a multi-pronged approach to ensure sufficient time is allocated for school lunch.

Fully utilizing the time already allocated for lunch:

  • Ensuring students get to cafeteria on time and avoiding early dismissal from the cafeteria
  • To-do: Cindy Rogan (Executive Director of Schools) will communicate this to the elementary school principals during the next meeting.

Streamlining lunch service:

  • Using new tech to eliminate the cashier’s desk as one of the bottlenecks of the lunch line.
  • Using pre-ordering system to eliminate lunch line (explore options).
  • Rearranging food station and queues to speed up food service.
  • To-do: Cindy will schedule a meeting for late Jan/early Feb between Kathy, Tom and parent representatives to finalize the objectives and logistics of the pilot programs to be started in March.

Increasing lunch break to ensure 20 mins of seating time in the 2017-2018 school year:

  • Finding ways to extend lunch break while meeting the 1000 instructional hour requirements
  • Finding ways to accommodate recess before lunch
  • To-do: Cindy is working with a task group to conduct a comprehensive study of the school schedule.  Any timing or staffing change to the lunch break will be included in the proposal for approval by the district this summer.

Zhifang Yang-Denor has be doing a great job communicating with the parent group and managing expectations.

Recess before lunch was discussed as a potential strategy.  Scheduling may be a challenge at some elementary schools.

While the Elementary Lunch Study Team has been working on solutions to improve the lunch process for students, the District (BSD) is also working with the teachers’ union (BEA) to study the entire student day for elementary students.  Through this negotiations process, this BEA/BSD committee is examining the entire elementary schedule, including how to maximize instructional time and meet the varied needs of students.  This group is also considering new ideas for the lunch and recess schedules. All options are being analyzed against competing priorities. (Ex: gym/cafeteria use)  This committee is also exploring length of school lunch program, recess before lunch, and the effectiveness of our current lunch/recess program.  We expect to provide recommendations from the BEA/BSD regarding lunch and recess by June 2017.